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Buying an espresso machine is the best option to enjoy a good coffee at home or in the office. But choosing an espresso machine can be a daunting task. In this article we give you the keys to choosing an espresso machine.
To have a good coffee, two key elements are necessary: a quality coffee -preferably freshly ground- and a good coffee maker.
Buying an espresso machine allows you to enjoy the best Italian-style coffee and the best cafeteria coffee at home or in the office, a quality coffee to satisfy your needs and stimulate your senses.
But the variety of espresso machines is quite wide, which can complicate the choice of machine . Therefore, first of all we must consider what our needs and expectations are. For example, how much space is available to place the coffee maker, what type of drinks you want to prepare or what is the available budget, among other issues.
TYPES OF ESPRESSO MACHINES
Espresso machines can be manual or automated. These, in turn, can be semi-automatic, automatic and super-automatic. Semi-automatic espresso machines use an automated system to drive the water. But they are not concerned with grinding or tamping the coffee, nor with controlling the water. This last action is controlled by automatic espresso machines, since they automatically stop the flow of water. The super-automatics espresso machines also grind, measure and tamp the coffee.
It is important to note that the level of automation does not have to determine the quality of the coffee itself . However, it does influence other issues, such as the size of the machine, its maintenance or its price. Also, it is important to note that the more automated an espresso machine is, the easier it is to make coffee, but the less control you have in the process.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING AN ESPRESSO MACHINE
Budget and available space are two key factors when choosing an espresso machine, but they only serve as a starting point . Here are some other questions that will help you make a better coffee maker choice.
Deciding how much you want to spend helps you narrow down the type of espresso machine you are going to buy, without a doubt. This can help you decide, but keeping other issues in mind. The good news is that there is a wide range of offers on espresso machines with excellent value for money.
SIZE AND SPACE AVAILABLE
The espresso machine is a small appliance that you must always have at hand. Therefore, you have to take into account the space available to choose the coffee maker. It is an inescapable question.
Fortunately, there are many compact espresso machines that fit into tight spaces . In any case, if you don’t have enough space to leave the coffee maker on the counter, choose one that you can store and remove easily.
TYPE AND QUALITY OF COFFEE
If you only want to make espresso, buy a machine that only makes coffee. But if you want to be able to prepare latte or cappuccino then you will be interested in buying a machine with a steam tube to create milk foam.
Regarding the quality of the coffee, it is important to consider the pressure. Pressure is measured in bars. The more bars a coffee machine applies, the better espresso it will make.
Another important issue has to do with the use of ground coffee. Some espresso machines include the option to grind the coffee. But if you want to use freshly ground coffee, you can always buy a separate coffee grinder , which is a very cheap accessory.
In addition, it should be noted that some espresso machines also have an accessory adapted to use special coffee capsules for this type of machine, if you like to use this type of coffee.
EASE OF USE, CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
It is important that each of you assess your needs regarding the use of the machine, if you are willing to spend more time making coffee or if you prefer that the machine do as much work as possible. This is a very personal question that each one must assess.
Cleaning and maintaining the machine are also important issues, as some systems require more effort than others. In this sense, it is important to find out what cleaning and maintenance procedures are required in each case, since these processes can slightly complicate the use of the machine.
BOILER TYPE (PUMP COFFEE MACHINES)
In espresso machines that use a pump as the driving mechanism, this is an interesting question to consider if you want to buy a machine with a vaporization tube for liquids, since espresso machines need a system to heat the water and steam. In this regard , pump espresso machines can be thermoblock (a single boiler for coffee and steam), heat exchange (a single boiler with independent systems for coffee and steam) or double boiler (one for coffee and one for steam).
Keep in mind that the water temperature must be different for coffee than for steam, so the best options are the heat exchange and the double boiler.
FINAL THOUGHTS: ESPRESSO MACHINE VS COFFEE CAPSULES
The coffee machine capsules are changing the way we consume espresso at home or at the office. These machines are fast and clean, and more and more types of coffee are available for use in them. However, regardless of the price of the machines, coffee in capsules is much more expensive and the capsules generate a lot of waste that is difficult to recycle (since the capsules have to be emptied first). Also, only specific types of capsules can be used (depending on the brand).
Although they require a little more work when preparing coffee, espresso machines allow you to use freshly ground coffee or choose ground coffee of any type, knowing exactly what the coffee you are going to drink contains. In addition, they do not generate polluting waste.